Every person and company has a vision or a business plan: something they want to achieve. A successful company also has specific goals that help to reach it's potential and not stray from the path to success. Even the simple act of writing your goals down has a huge upside. In a Harvard MBA study they found that after ten years the 3% who had written down goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined.
However, not all goals that are set, are SMART and a company may lose from that. We made an interactive application to test out if your goals are SMART, but first take a look what SMART goals actually are.
- Specific – they are clearly understood by everyone in the team
- Measurable – you can always get a clear idea of how well you're doing
- Achievable – when planning, there's no point in deciding to fulfill all dreams in a year. Make sure you think what you really could do.
- Relevant – the goals you set must be important for your company. The goal shouldn't be “Let's hire 20 people” but “Let's increase the revenue enough in order to hire 20 people.”
- Time-bound – they have a specific due date for completion to resist the urge to say “okey, we'll do it next year.”
Let's be honest, it's easy to set vague unrealistic goals like “Let's make a lot of money in the future” but those are not good for you. You can never say that you have achieved it: there is no way to measure your success. Secondly, goals without deadlines are dreams. And business can't be built only on dreams.
Goals are usually set for a year or a quarter but they should always be in front of you. How will what you're doing right now help you accomplish your goals? It's good to set 2 or 3 key result which, when fulfilled advance your general SMART goals.
SMART goals can be implemented in any part of an organization: they can be set for personal development, project management or for the entire company. If you're not sure if it's worth the time to plan it out for your company, try setting personal SMART goals and see what happens.
In Weekdone, we have developed a simple app that helps you determine if your goals are smart enough for success. Write down your goal and check how SMART are your goals.